Our Trustees

Under the rules of the UK Charity Commission, all Trustees are unpaid.

Jonathan Powell - Trustee

Is a trustee of the Natural Beekeeping Trust and co-founder of Learning from the Bees. He authored the Tree Beekeeping Field Guide, and oversees forest rewilding projects in the UK and Spain.

He  seeks to respect the nature of the bee, learning from how wild bees prefer to live to inform his apiculture and heart. 

Heidi Herrmann - Co-founder and Trustee

Bees are a source of wonder to me. I am grateful that at some time in my beekeeping career they flew into my heart and stayed. I work for the Natural Beekeeping Trust in the hope to inspire others to inquire more deeply into the nature of bees. I hope that the day will come when our love for the bees will inform and guide all our interactions with Nature. It seems that we humans need to evolve a little before we can hope to do justice to the bees.  They are here to help us. They show us many things.

Carrie Foulkes - Trustee

"A bee sitting on a flower stung a child. And the child is afraid of bees and says that a bee's purpose consists in stinging people. A poet admires a bee sucking from the cup of a flower and says that a bee's purpose consists in sucking up the fragrance of flowers. A beekeeper, noting how a bee gathers flower pollen and brings it to the hive, says that a bee's purpose consists in gathering honey. Another beekeeper, who has studied the life of a hive more closely, says that a bee collects pollen in order to feed the young bees and rear a queen, and that its purpose consists in reproducing its kind. A botanist notes that, as a bee lands with pollen on the pistil of a dioecious flower, it fertilises it, and in that the botanist sees the bee's purpose. Another, observing the migration of plants, sees that the bee contributes to that migration, and this new observer may say it is in this that the bee's purpose consists. But the final purpose of the bee is exhausted neither by the one, nor the other, nor the third purpose that human reason is able to discover. The higher human reason rises in the discovery of these purposes, the more obvious for it is the inaccessibility of the final purpose." - Tolstoy

Rachel Hanney - Treasurer

Rachel Hanney's passion for the Sun Hive has inspired numerous beekeepers around the world. She is an exceptional teacher and has helped countless people to make their own hives.

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I am Director and Founder of Bees for Development, and President of the Apimondia Scientific Commission Beekeeping for Rural Development.  I was also a lecturer at Cardiff University (1993-1996) and before that worked at the International Bee Research Association for 10 years (1983-1993).  I have worked as  beekeeping consultant  in 45+ countries, working for FAO, IFAD, the World Bank and many other donor organisations.


Bees for Development is an international organisation working for over twenty years to support bees and beekeepers in developing countries. We support simple, sustainable beekeeping for biodiversity and livelihoods. We endeavour to understand the factors important for extensive, productive and profitable beekeeping systems. In recent years we have increasingly provided training to beekeepers in UK, promoting a natural extensive approach to maintaining healthy populations of honeybees. We are based in Monmouth in South Wales where we have a small team of professional staff assisted by a large team of noble volunteers. We have a tiny shop selling local honeys, candles and bee products with some from Africa, too. 


We are very honoured and happy to be named as a partner with The Natural Beekeeping Trust.

Peter has been a biodynamic farmer from his early twenties; after farming for ten years in South Africa, he returned to the United Kingdom to build up what has developed into one of the flagship community farms in this country, Tablehurst Farm in Sussex. Peter has been instrumental in introducing the sunhive to this country, and is part of the Natural Beekeeping Tust's important sun hive endeavour. Peter's expertise in sustainable farming is invaluable to the Trust's objective to further all kinds of gardening and farming which promise to create a healthier and more diverse environment for bees and all other pollinators.


Peter Brown is currently Chairman of the Biodynamic Association, one of the first farming organisations advocating sound methods of agriculture and gardening. 


 "I am grateful to the bees for raising awareness of the urgent need for the world to farm differently. They help us in so many ways to rise to our task as stewards of the earth, and we will do well to listen to their message. It is urgent. Their crisis is really the crisis of our consciousness"

Karmit Even-Zur - Associate

Karmit‘s work focuses on developing sensitivity to living systems in nature – cultivating an awareness of the wild, the unseen, and the conscious aspects of the Earth. She facilitates courses at Earth Speaks and at the International School of Storytelling (UK). For the past 8 years, she has been practicing natural beekeeping, keen to observe the integrity of their nature. In 2015, together with cultural activist Jorge Gallardo, she planted a seed with natural beekeeping workshops in the area of Vejer de la Frontera, which led to the creation of the natural beekeeping learning community, ‘Apijanda’, and the development of Bee Time Artist residencies, an artist led initiative together with artist Pol Parrhesia. 

John has enjoyed a lifelong interest in the natural world since he was a boy living in Africa.  As a professional engineer he has always wanted to know how things work; and if they malfunction, he wants to know the reasons why.  He first touched honeybees in 1980 in New Zealand and started his own apiary in Hampshire, after he stopped globetrotting, more than10 years ago. John has been keeping bees since 2003.


As the Andover swarm liaison officer, he has seen bees living undisturbed in a number of different situations. After reports of failing colonies, he started to study the natural life and behaviour of bees as well as what might be causing their demise. In 2007 he started to adopt Demeter ‘organic’ beekeeping practices, progressively becoming more bee-centric in his husbandry.


“The more I understand about the Bee, the more I know she wants to be left alone, undisturbed to manage her own life. Working in harmony with bees is a joy and they bring life, energy and colour to our garden. The Bee has opened my eyes to the wonders of a holistic ecosystem and the interdependence of a vast diversity of nature.”

John Haverson runs an informal group of natural beekeepers in Hampshire and surrounding areas which welcomes newcomers and inquiries.

David Heaf keeps his bees west of the Welsh hills on the coast of the Lleyn Peninsula. Undoubtedly one of the leading lights in the movement towards more ethical practice and holistic methodolgy in beekeeping, David's contribution to the body of research and knowledge in the field of sustainable beekeeping is considerable, and his insights are informed by a thorough grounding in Goethean Science. David's excellent masterclasses are always well worth making a journey for, as he rarely ventures out from the Welsh Hills. David Heaf's two books "The Beefriendly Beekeeper" and "Natural Beekeeping with the Warre Hive" belong in every aspiring beekeeper's library.


"I'm a hobby beekeeper with nearly all my colonies on natural comb in either Abbé Émile Warré's 'People's Hive', or Claude Bralet's 'Wild Hive'. I chose natural comb to optimise chances of the bees coping with the Varroa mite without any use of chemicals. To ensure that queen renewal happens entirely naturally, I practise no swarm control other than to be vigilant for issued swarms, and provide bait hives nearby. Although I visit my bees frequently, opening the hive is rare, i.e. largely confined to adding boxes underneath n the spring and harvesting honey in the autumn. Since I switched to notreatments in 2007, my year-on-year colony loss rate averages 24%. Links to my pages about both aforementioned hives can be found at www.bee-friendly.co.uk"

Gareth John - Associate

The Bien has much to tell us. Will we heed its counsel? I hope to engage in conversation with many of you who are drawn to bees for whatever outward reasons.   By working together in a spirit of enquiry and an attitude of humility towards the bees, I believe we have hope of addressing the many problems affecting our relationship with Nature as a whole, and the bees in particular.

Simon Kellam - Associate

My personal ‘Bee Journey’ only really started in 2015. I got my first National Hive after completing a conventional beekeeping course but it wasn’t long
before I started questioning some of the methods I had been taught.
I then stumbled across a Tree Beekeeping workshop hosted by Jonathan Powell at The Dartington Hall Estate in Devon. It caught my attention because I love working with wood. However, that day really changed the course of my Bee Journey and I have never lookedback, all thanks to Jonathan Powell and the NBKT.

I have recently designed my own Eco Tree Hive and the Roseland Eco Hive. I get immense satisfaction rewilding bees and demonstrating to the public the
benefits of letting bees follow their innate preferences. I think it’s also very important to engage with conventional beekeepers as well. There will always be a demand to interact with bees for the ‘honey’. That’s why I’ve tried to design a more bee friendly environment in a conventional type framed hive. If
managed SUSTAINABLY then there is a place for this engagement but much work needs to be done first to re address the balance of bees with nature.

Bartłomiej Maleta - Associate

I am a beekeeper from Poland who seeks the thin line between keeping bees and letting them live as they want to without any intrusion. I hope it is possible to connect those two. Unfortunately, in Poland, where I live, bees die in big numbers if left without toxic or biocidal treatments. It is a great challenge before us, beekeepers, to allow bees to build up their own mechanisms to cope with their problems. But it is an even greater challenge to convince beekeepers to do so. 


I am a cofounder of Natural Beekeeping Association “Free Bees” http://wolnepszczoly.org/about-us/

and the Group “Bee Brotherhood”


I am also a participant of the Project “Fort Knox”


which is about selecting locally adapted bees and giving guarantees to each other.

Alix Roosen - Associate

I studied conventional agriculture in Germany - learning for many years how to manage farm animals and produce the maximum output possible. I know a lot about agri“culture” in Germany and consider it extremely alarming what it does to nature, landscapes, our society and people all over the world.

I grew up in a forest and there was an old beekeeper there - one of my childhood heroes. I always wanted to have bees around me but never got round to it. In Germany beekeeping is taught like some kind of „arcane science“ - way too complicated and expensive for an average person to pick up. Gradually I realized that it is the management side of beekeeping that is complicated. The bees themselves know everything. They do not need us - we need them and we have to let them be.

I have been a beekeeper since 2013, starting with horizontal topbar hives I built myself. Since then my apiary has expanded to 30 hives, Demeter certified, and I teach natural approaches to beekeeping.

At the end of every teaching year, I find myself asking: is this what I want to talk about? Natural comb in boxes, swarms and honey? Knowing that the bees belong in the heart of trees and in the wild? I am committed to learning from the bees and feel confident in the bees’ ability to guide us well.

Torben Schiffer -    Associate

I learnt conventional beekeeping from my grandfather in 2006. 
My first awakening happened when I treated my hives against varroa and then found hundreds of antennae on the mesh bottoms. This was the bees’ response to the recommended treatment: self-mutilation.

It is this experience which spurred my search for better ways of keeping bees. Through my experience with pseudoscorpions I was led to examine and research the climatic conditions of modern hives.

I was fortunate to be asked by Prof. J. Tautz to do research the differences of climatic conditions in tree cavities and modern beehives and its effects on bee health.  We have been able to establish impressive data that lead us to conclude that the majority of bee hives in common use fail to offer the bees an environment that is appropriate to the needs of the species, with concomitant effects on the bees’ health. 

I am much encouraged by my finding many wild bee colonies in Germany, and these have become my passion. I believe they have much to teach us. All we need to do is to cultivate an honest and open attitude to learn from them and apply this learning in all ways we can. We can already conclude that most of the bees’ problems in our time are man-made.

Matt Somerville - Associate

When I became interested in bees I attended a beekeeping course. It became clear to me that serving the bees would not be achieved by the kind of beekeeping advocated. I immersed myself in studying the life of bees and found inspiration from various notable bee-centered beekeepers, among them Michael Thiele in the USA. In recent years I have applied my skills as a carpenter to making homes for bees and placing them in local woodlands. It gives me great joy to see them populated by local swarms in search of suitable cavitie

André Wermelinger - Associate

André is a discerning observer, he is fascinated by natural fundamental principles and their application as well as impacts in the contemporary environment and society. He feels a particular commitment to sustainability. Originally, André intended to keep bees in order to produce honey, just like any other beekeeper. After a few hours of reading the basics about beekeeping, however, he realised how unnatural the interventions in the colonies are that are used to harvest honey. So he decided on the spot to apply natural beekeeping practices to his own bees, foregoing the necessity to harvest honey at all costs. André Wermelinger is originator and founding member of the organization FREETHEBEES in Switzerland.

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Disclaimer: Whilst the trustees believe that any methods and research published through this website are beneficial to bee health in general, they cannot accept any legal liability to users of this website for any losses or damage sustained as a result of following any of the suggestions or methods described.


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